The Miracle of Flax Seed
Flax seed comes from the flax plant. In addition to having a delicious nutty flavor, eating flax seed can provide positive benefits to your heart and brain as well as other health improvements.
Lowers cholesterol. By eating just one ounce of flax seeds each day, you can lower your LDL cholesterol by as much as 10%. According to French researchers, that’s enough to cut your risk of heart attack by half. Flax contains a beneficial fat called alpha-linelenic acid that helps lower the liver’s production of bad cholesterol.
Lowers risk of breast cancer. Consuming flax every day can cut a woman’s risk of breast cancer by about 50%, according to some studies at Johns Hopkins University. The recommended dosage is about 3 tablespoons of flax seed per day. Flax contains compounds called lignans which help the liver break down and excrete breast-irritating estrogens.
Lowers blood sugar and insulin. People who eat flax on a daily basis can cut their blood sugar and insulin levels by as much as 28%. Researchers believe this is enough to control and possibly prevent Type 2 diabetes. The fiber contain in flax seed slows the digestion and absorption of carbs. It also improves your body’s ability to absorb and use glucose.
Eases depression. Flax contains a fatty acid that essential for up to 85% of our brain cell functions, but unfortunately most of us don’t get enough in our daily diets. According to some British research, flax can slash the risk of depression by four times.
Reduce hot flashes. Flax is packed with plant hormones called phytoestrogens which can smooth out the roller coaster estrogen levels that trigger hot flashes. Flax can also help ease menstrual cramps.
Flax seeds are available in health-food stores. However, the benefits of flax seeds are only released when the seeds are ground. Ground flax can go rancid fairly quickly, so your best bet is to purchase the whole seeds and ground them yourself with a coffee, spice or pepper grinder. Also, if you start eating flax, be sure to start off slowly and eat it in moderation. More than 7 tablespoons per day can cause problems with your thyroid.